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You Gotta Serve Somebody

Today’s wisdom says that we should question everything. Question:  “Does that include questioning the idea that we should question everything?” Yes?  No?  Can’t really make sense of that one if you think about it too much can you? Problem is, “question most things” doesn’t have the same ring.  Neither does, “Obey your parents in the Lord, […]


Lighting a Fire

“Filling a bucket.”  That’s how Axel and I refer to school mornings at Whetstone Boys Ranch.  We make sure they can cross t’s and dot i’s, understand genus and species, conjugate verbs, find the variable, and stay within the lines.  It is accomplished because there are some things that just need accomplishing. But the afternoon, that’s […]


Horsey Farm

The summer before we opened up in 2011, we spent a good deal of time raising money. (That’s a funny phrase isn’t it?  Like money grows in a vegetable garden, or can be harvested like catfish in a stock pond.) I remember one event in particular.  It was hot.  We arrived early to set up […]


Question Marks

For the young men at Whetstone Boys Ranch, the future is a big question mark.  Literally.  It’s a huge black line that twists, turns, and then drops off into a dark abyss. ? Their parents and teachers are at a similar impass – and like that giant question mark above, they are at the end […]


Growing Pains

I can remember having terrible pains in my legs when I was 10 years old.  These pains would come mostly at night as I lay in bed, forcing me to review my day for some clue as to why they hurt so much.  I would connect the pain to a game of basketball, dropping from […]


“Against the Wind”

The following is a journal entry inspired by Bob Seger’s song, “Against the Wind.” “There are a lot of odds up against me right now.  But I believe there are more odds for me.  I would say that the majority of the kids who go through a program end up going right back down the […]



  This is Jon again.  I thought I might write a short reflection on my experience here at the ranch now that my time at Whetstone is nearly at an end.   And as I write these words, I realize how sad the thought makes me.   I also realize how foolish it was for me to […]


It’s Hard But Good

This is not Axel. Sorry to disappoint any of Axel’s readers who clicked the link for some of his eclectic prose, but this is the summer intern at Whetstone, Jon. You may have read about me in the recent newsletter, but if you didn’t you really only need to know that I am interning full […]


Lessons from “Elvira”

There is a website out there dedicated to preserving misheard lyrics.  Its name (kissthisguy.com) comes from the most infamous misheard lyric of all-time.  “Excuse me while I kiss the sky,” from Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” has unfortunately been translated by many as “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”  I’m sorry, but that is not […]



We start each day at Whetstone Boys Ranch & Boarding School, by logging the number of hours we have spent working on three things:  health and fitness, agriculture and wood-working.   Because our program is residential, we can budget every hour to maximize academic learning and personal growth; keeping a log helps us to account and […]

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